Five major events in a big week for SA
Tito Mboweni dives into the deep end with his maiden medium-term budget just two weeks into the job, and MPs debate the collapse of VBS
1. MTBPS: The headline event this is week is finance minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden medium-term budget policy statement, setting out South Africa’s spending priorities for the next three years, on Wednesday. Credit rating agencies will be watching closely. Mboweni, just two weeks into the job, is expected to announce a plan to tackle a bloated public service wage bill that threatens service delivery.
2. President’s investment conference: Following hot on the heels of Mboweni’s medium-term budget, from Thursday to Saturday, the conference is part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s drive to attract $100bn in investment to stimulate economic growth. The 800-1,000 delegates will include the CEOs of major global companies.
3. Sars inquiry: The Nugent inquiry into governance troubles at the South African Revenue Service under Tom Moyane’s watch will hear from Moyane loyalist Luther Lebelo on Monday, as well as acting chief officer for business and individual tax Fabian Murray. Tuesday could shed more light on the role of consultancy Gartner, when Neville Willemse and Michael Lithgow from the international advisory firm will appear.
4. VBS: The bank’s collapse will be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, with the ANC reported to be divided over whether it should be recapitalised using taxpayers’ money. Deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele has rejected calls to do so, the Sunday Times reported.
5. Consumer inflation: Investec expects inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) to have slowed in September, to 4.6% from August’s 4.9% — likely only a temporary reprieve thanks in part to the government’s capping the September fuel price increase. External pressures, including high oil prices and currency fluctuations, remain and could be felt again in the October inflation reading. Stats SA releases CPI data on Wednesday.